Social media is all about the numbers.
How many followers do you have? How many likes did you get on that post? How much engagement appears in the comments? Since the numbers appear to be more important, we’ll share five ways to increase followers the organic way.
You won’t go viral or become a star with your first video. Most likely it won’t happen in your first 50 posts. You might get discouraged at first as you have less than a handful of fans and followers watching your content. Yet if you pick a particular date or time to release, or even easier, release on a regular basis, your follower count will grow. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the early days of WineLibraryTV and how he had a few fans that would watch his episodes. Yet, he stuck at it, and has become the social media juggernaut that he is. It takes one share to have you hit the inflection point. Ask recent sensation Nathan Apodaca (@420doggface208) who was posting on a regular basis prior to his viral hit. It was his original followers that helped to catapult Apodaca into the limelight.
Trying new things is the crux of social media. We’ve seen so many things a number of times and to do the same thing as someone else bills you as unoriginal and in the fast moving world of social media, boring and swipeable. Take a risk and do something different. You might get noticed. Apodaca’s captured moment was organic. In fact, he was about to simply delete it since it didn’t fit in with his usual fare. Good thing he didn’t. It became an overnight meme with Mick Fleetwood and Ocean Spray’s CEO doing their own renditions and Apodaca’s next video included a new truck filled with a bed full of cranberry juice courtesy of Ocean Spray. In a risky move, Gary Vaynerchuk started to disagree with the professional critics on his WineLibraryTV show, which got him noticed by other wine aficionados that questioned the ratings; this was counterintuitive to his actual wine business that counted on high rated wines for sales.
Your fans and followers came to you for a specific reason. In GaryVee’s case they wanted to get his take on wine. (They also got his musings on football and life). Regardless of Gary’s diversions, he stayed on topic. Quickly he became known as the “wine guy” and got mindshare whenever others were looking for an expert in the field. If you think about some of the most successful influencers, they have a well defined area of expertise, whether it’s wine, dance, sports, travel, cooking, being a parent, or music.
Aggregate Your Fans and Followers
While it makes strategic sense to build a large number of fans and followers on one platform, all of your fans have different usage patterns. Have an account on all of the platforms and then cross post from TikTok to Instagram to YouTube to Snap. Perhaps you only put a teaser, maybe you don’t put it up in real time, or a variety of other techniques can help you to lure your fans and followers from one platform to another. Experiment! After all, the worst thing that can happen is that you get followers on a platform that you aren’t trying to optimize for.
Engage with Your Fans and Followers
Social media is a two way street. Engage! Don’t just broadcast. There might be people that disagree with you, but that is part of social media. Of course, try to ignore the many trolls that are out there (people that disagree with you or post inflammatory comments for the sake of causing a disturbance), but engage with your fans and followers. Get into a dialogue with them, reply to them, engage with them. You’ll get better engagement figures and more followers if you make yourself accessible through your platform. People will also see you as genuine and a real person as opposed to possibly an agency or a bot that is impersonating one.
Finally while it may be tempting to buy followers to get your follower count up, don’t do it. Like a well oiled marketplace, your follower count will come as your engagement increases. Marketers are always looking at how strong your engagement is; per post, are you getting enough likes and comments to justify your following? Or do you have so many fake followers that only 0.01% of your audience engages? Use the tips above, grow your followers, create great content, and most importantly have fun! (And don’t forget about your blog!)